We had the good fortune of connecting with Amir Abdallah and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Amir, how do you think about risk?
I believe risks are necessary to take because it allows for growth. In the music industry, it is very hard to find artists who are openly gay, as they are not always taken the most seriously for their craft. As an independent artist, I made it a goal to express myself in my music. I identify as a Gay, Cis-gendered male. I am comfortable with the fact that I have a masculine and feminine side, and have learned to embrace that in my art. I am also Christian, which opens up an entire can of worms, as many people look down upon the idea of being a Christian and part of the LGBTQIA community. I have always been open about my faith and identity, and have learned that embracing my true authentic self will always bring hate, but it can also be a sanctuary for those who are struggling to be their true authentic selves. Somewhere out there is a little boy, who feels alone and not heard. If my art can show him that he can be whatever and whoever he wants to be, then I am beyond happy. A song of mine that immediately comes in mind, is a single I released a year ago, titled: “Heavenly Father”. It is a song that tells my story about finding myself as a Gay Christian. It was a cry out to God for answers. For years, I heard much hatred from others. “God loves you but not your sexuality”, “You can’t be Christian and Gay”, “God made Adam and Eve. Not Adam and Steve”, “Gay people go to Hell.”. For so long, I had these voices in my head rejecting how I truly felt inside, and “Heavenly Father” was basically a cry out to God asking “If it’s so wrong, why do I feel this way?” If you love me, why am I this way?”. I felt like this was the perfect way for me to paint the image that I was feeling for so many years. It’s something that I still wonder from time to time, but there is so much more to discover as I grow older.

I had to make the decision to either hide my authentic self or to embrace my more feminine side when I want to, and to face the judgements that come with that. I realized that this is MY art ,no one else’s. For my first music video titled: “All My Love”, I danced in heels. I also had many dancers in the video as we embraced our natural sexiness. I had dancers of the same sex partners to show the beauty in same sex couples. It was a statement to show that we are no longer going to hide. That we have the right to embrace our true authentic selves. We also wore full glam makeup, to show that clothes and make up genderless. It was time to throw away the gender norms and just have fun. To just be ourselves. Some days I want to be more masculine. Other times, maybe I want to embrace my feminine side. And that’s okay!

This has all worked together in a joinery to self fulfillment and confidence. Confidence is who I am as a person. Who I am as an artist. I am a Mexican, Palestinian, Gay, Christian man, and I am proud of it. As Madonna says: “Artists are here to disturb the peace.” And I believe that it is the only way to create change. THAT is what I plan to do with my art.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have been singing since I was a little boy and have always used singing and dancing as a way to express myself. I grew up listening to all kinds of music from Pop, R&B, Soul, Latin, or Gospel. I’ve always looked up to artists ranging from Selena Quintanilla, Whitney Houston, and Aretha Franklin to Beyoncé, Adele, and Demi Lovato. I decided that I wanted to take my love and passion for the performing arts and tune it into a long lasting career for my future. I grew up performing in my school dance teams and choir all through my K-12 education and knew this was going to be what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I think my struggles and ability to show my vulnerability in my music , is what sets me apart from other artists. I have been through a lot in my life. I grew up with an absent father who was in and out of prison my entire life and was raised by an extremely hard-working single mother of 4. My father was deported during my sophomore year of high school and my older brother was also following in my father’s foot steps. My brother also struggles with mental health issues and drug addiction, which led him to prison.
I am a very diverse person and chose to showcase that diversity in my brand and music. I am a Gay, Christian, Mexican-Palestinian man. I’ve dealt with hardships in regards to my father’s deportation, bother’s mental health issues, drug addiction within my family, raised by a single mother of 4, while growing up low-income, and being apart of the LGBTQIA community as a Gay man. I choose to showcase this diverse background of mine because it allows me to relate to so many different people with so many different walks of life. I’m a strong believer in the fact that you cannot be a voice for someone without understanding their stories and hardships. But even more, I have lived it. I continue to live it while pursuing my dream in being an artist. I hope that many people from all kinds of walks of life can see my content and hear my music, feeling like they can relate to someone. I am still working hard and trying to grow myself and my brand as an artist, little by little.

Through all of this, I still continue to write songs and out my thoughts, feeling, and emotions into lyrics. Whether they are good lyrics or bad, I’ve learned to just keep writing. There is beauty in showing your vulnerability and having open discussions about how you feel, which is what I choose to do in my music. It’s okay to feel sad, it’s okay to feel lonely or not feel okay in general. It is a universal feeling and experience that we can all relate to. It is what I am currently working on for my future project. To embrace the imperfections and the growing process that life creates.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I have to say… and maybe it’s because I’ve grown up in LA my entire life, but I love In-N-Out. My friends and I would always go to In-N-Out all throughout high school after any performance or event. I think for many, In-N-Out is a hit or miss, but it’s definitely something you NEED to try when in Los Angeles or California in general. Also the beaches are such a vibe and the never ending sunny weather. DISNEYLAND is also such a fun experience when in the area! I grew up with all things Disney and it’s always such a fun time when in the area.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First things first, my number 1 will always be God.

There have been many times where my faith has really pushed me to be a better person and an even better artist. Whenever I felt alone in the process, I always had a sense of comfort in my faith. It has been the biggest positive impact in my life and has taught me to fight hate with love. That love will always win. it is super easy to lash out and clap back at people, but it takes so much strength to ignore the negativity and to show kindness. Kill em’ with kindness.

I would also like to thank my friends and family who are my biggest supporters and fans. There have been times when their advice and cheers have just kept me going when I felt like going up. I will forever be grateful for their unconditional love. I am so blessed to have such an amazing support system and I try my best to never take that for granted.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heyy_amir/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtbYsJ8tWxgj-eiVWcJDiMA

Other: Linktree: https://linktr.ee/heyy_amir Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0mA5PWaD57GJGY51bxjqnq?si=13-kuIqMRTmlGl5MwfwMKw

Image Credits
Genna Hardin, Sam Mauro, Phoebe J Yung

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